The Wizard of Oz

Let’s face it, we all know the story of The Wizard of Oz and this musical version really does capture every essence of the 1939 film, with the added brilliance that Producer Michael Harrison is able to bring to the stage. I couldn’t help thinking that this show has an air of Pantomime about it, and knowing that Crossroads Live are involved it was no shock that this production of The Wizard of Oz is an epic and visually spectacular show.

Leading the way as Dorothy is Aviva Tulley who gave an absolute stand out performance, especially with her pitch perfect rendition of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ where you could hear every single word thanks to the most crisp diction I’ve heard for a very long time. Throughout the show, Tulley commanded the stage, despite there being many other stellar performances from a cast of such star quality, that we were literally catapulted over that rainbow!

As wicked as he is wonderful, Craig Revel Horwood gave us ‘The Wicked Witch of the West’ with every inch of camp delight. Revel Horwood is a complete pro and by chucking in a couple of Strictly Come Dancing references it made for a sensational performance, especially during the opening of Act 2 with an amazing vocal belt that nearly started its own tornado!

As Dorothy ventures into the land of Oz she famously meets a Scarecrow, a Lion and a Tin Man. Played by Benjamin Yates, Nic Greenshields and Aston Merrygold respectively, this trio were full of energy, full of comic brilliance and shone individually. Every character has their own moment as we find out what they each feel as though they lack. Stealing the whole show for me was Benjamin Yates as the Scarecrow. His physicality and ‘brainless’ persona was a delight to watch from start to finish. Every movement clearly thought through and each line delivered brilliantly. Merrygold played to his strengths with some incredible dance moves and superb vocals, whilst Greenshields’ impressive stature elevated his performance to heady heights!

Everything about this show is a real spectacle, from the many video projections (Douglas O’Connell), to the sensational lighting (Ben Cracknell), the colourful and inventive costuming (Rachael Canning) and of course the real star of the show, Toto the dog, handled superbly by Abigail Matthews. I’m always in awe of puppeteers and their ability to bring an animal to life. You really do believe that a living creature is running around the stage, testament to the talent of puppeteering.

The ensemble cast provided some slick and polished routines thanks to choreography by Shay Barclay. Filling the stage with boundless energy, every member of the ensemble gave their all.

The show is filled with songs we all know and love such as ‘If I Only Had a Heart’, ‘Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead’ and ‘Yellow Brick Road’. Mixed with additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, the songs are sure fire hits which remain memorable. I was lucky enough to see the first incarnation of this show at the Curve Leicester back in 2022 and it was clear then that Director Nikolai Foster had worked his magic on this classic story. Two years on and the show has gone from strength to strength cementing why I love musical theatre so much. Pure perfection! There really is no place like Theatreland!

This show was reviewed on the 12th June 2024 at the Birmingham Hippodrome where it runs until the 16th June 2024. Tickets available here: The Wizard of Oz – Birmingham Hippodrome

The remaining tour dates can be found here: Wizard of Oz • UK Tour • Official Website (

Review written by Emma Rowley


Photo credit: Marc Brenner

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